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Parliamentary questions
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4 November 2015
Question for written answer E-014464-15
to the Commission
Rule 130
Annie Schreijer-Pierik (PPE)

 Subject:  Advertising of veterinary antibiotics
 Answer in writing 

In Belgium, Bayer Healthcare and others have advertised to veterinarians discounts of up to 50% on veterinary antibiotics, including Baytril and Marbonor (De Standaard, 3 July 2015). Baytril (enrofloxacin) and Marbonor (marbofloxacin) are fluoroquinoline antibiotics, which the WHO classifies as highest-priority crucial antibiotics for human medical use.

Similar practices have occurred in other Member States. In November 2014, the German newspaper Die Zeit reported that the Wirtschaftsgenossenschaft Deutscher Tierärzte (German Veterinarians Business Cooperative) was advertising 88% discounts on antibiotics of last resort if veterinarians purchased at least 500 bottles. Such savings are profitable to vets, and therefore encourage them to sell more of these antibiotics to farmers.

1. Does the Commission know how many of these sales campaigns are being conducted in Europe, and by which firms, and are they compatible with efforts to combat antibiotic resistance?

2. Will the Commission take action to ban such campaigns and sales practices by pharmaceutical companies and also to reduce the incentives for vets to buy more antibiotics?

3. Would the Commission be willing to require pharmaceutical companies which receive public funding for research into new antibiotics to refrain from selling antibiotics to vets and farmers at a discount and for non-therapeutic use?

Original language of question: NL 
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